PEPS-C: a test of prosodic abilityPEPS-C: a test of prosodic ability
What is Prosody? Prosody is a little-investigated aspect of speech, and has been described as ‘not what you say but the way you say it’: the effect of phrasing emphasis, and intonation on the meaning and impact of the spoken utterance. Prosodic phrasing shows how the words in an utterance are grouped; emphasis indicates the focus of a speaker’s utterance; while intonation and tone of voice convey speakers’ emotions and their attitude to what they are saying. Prosody is carried on variations in pitch/fundamental frequency, loudness/intensity, syllable-duration and speaking-rate, pauses/silence, stress and speech-rhythm.
Prosody is frequently disordered in people with conditions such as autism, dysarthria (for example in individuals who have experienced a stroke), Parkinson’s, Down syndrome and Williams syndrome; in people with hearing impairment and cochlear implant; and in learners of English as a second language. PEPS-C has been used in several studies of the speech and understanding of children with high-functioning autism/Asperger's syndrome. See Prosody and autism spectrum conditions for references to studies on this topic.
PEPS-C: a test of prosodic ability PEPS-C (Profiling Elements of Prosody in Speech-Communication) is a test which examines receptive and expressive prosodic skills in adults and children, at two different levels (functional and formal), for research and clinical purposes. The test is available in English, in several regional accents: North American English, Australian English, southern or general British English, Edinburgh Scottish English, and Irish English. It is also available in other languages: French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch (Flemish), Norwegian, German (receptive tasks only) and Farsi). PEPS-C 2015 is currently only available for UK General (southern British) accent, Irish and North American (US General and Canadian) accents. Fuller details are given at PEPS-C 2015 and on the order form.PEPS-C was developed and used as a research tool (see PEPS-C research version: description) and then in a version designed to assist therapists and teachers in remedial intervention (see PEPS-C clinical version: description). Both these versions have been superseded by the 2015 edition (see PEPS-C 2015).
Standardisation PEPS-C is not standardised. There is some normative data for some accents from previous research projects where normative data was collected, but this is limited and now over 10 years old. People buying the PEPS-C with the intention of using it for research purposes are encouraged to collect their own normative data and to return it via the contact form so that eventually a database of normative data can be compiled. It is intended that this test should provide a tool for a range of applications, notably: a) assessment of prosodic impairment in people with speech and language disorders, and b) assessment of foreign learners' competence in English prosody.